This Saturday, the Waynesburg University wrestling team opened its season with the annual intrasquad Orange vs Black wrestle-offs.
Team Orange won the match 27-26, but the outcome was irrelevant, as the purpose of the meet was for the coaching staff as they were able to identify some of the top wrestlers for the upcoming season, watching competitive matches throughout the day.
“I’ve always said this isn’t my favorite day, pitting your own team against each other,” head coach Ron Headlee said.
The day opened up with a heavyweight bout between sophomore Leo Fetterolf and freshman Ben Champ. Fetterolf made quick work of Champ and pinned him early in the first period.
Then, reigning 125-pound PAC champion Dylan Williams was challenged by freshman Noah Grossnickle who pushed him to overtime, but Williams was able to get his hand raised with a take down to win 3-1.
Even though Grossnickle lost, Headlee noticed his moves down low were effective.
“He showed some good stuff down low.” Headlee said.
Senior captain Dillon Charlton tech falled freshman Luke LaVanway. Then, another senior, Zach Mackall took on first year Jackets’ wrestler, Scotty Miller who is transitioning into a two-sport athlete at Waynesburg. Miller kept it close in the second period only trailing Mackall 10-7 heading into the third period, before Mackall jumped out to a 21-11 major decision victory.
Caleb Baxter made his return following missing last season with an injury and showed no signs of rust, winning by fall over Cory Supan in the second period.
“I think I did pretty well,” Baxter said. “My goal today was to go out, get some mat time, and experiment what I am capable to do.”
Matt Lascola pinned Anthony Medina in the first period. Adam Rigney battled LaVanway and was down in the second period before coming back to win by fall. Headlee acknowledged that depth is a strength for this team.
“I think we got some special freshman and I think overall our older guys provide a good mix of our team,” Headlee said.
Several freshmen, such as Jace Guy, Rocky McGeary, Colby Morris and Grossnickle showed promise for the future of the program after losing national champion Jake Evans to graduation.
Guy won by tech fall over Medina in the second period, McGeary pinned Fetterolf in the first period, and Morris ended the day with a pin against Miller. In Grossnickle’s second match of the day he defeated fellow freshman Brenden Hanning.
At days end, Headlee was pleased with the way things turned out.
“Overall guys were scraping and going at it and I’m happy about that,” Headlee said.